City fights for fire base

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PEMBROKE – The city of Pembroke is adding its voice to the chorus of municipalities objecting to the closure of the Ministry of Natural Resources forest fire base.

It will be passing a formal resolution at next week’s council meeting calling on Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti and Premier Kathleen Wynne to stop the closure. This will also be sent to the pair in the form of a letter.

Announced late last year, these funding cuts, $70 million worth spread over the next three years, will result in the loss of three full-time employees and 20 part-time employees working out of the fire section of the Pembroke MNR regional office.

week’s council meeting calling on Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti and Premier Kathleen Wynne to stop the closure. This will also be sent to the pair in the form of a letter.

This is one of the changes to the province’s Fire Management Program, which included the closure of the Kirkland Lake and Pembroke fire bases. Ministry officials have stated in letters to municipalities this decision will not reduce the ability to manage fires in the Pembroke and the surrounding area, and that protecting people, property and natural resources from forest fires remains their top priority.

However, Pembroke’s mayor, like others in the Ottawa Valley, is worried public safety may be jeopardized because of these cuts, which he sees as reducing the level of an essential service.

During Tuesday’s meeting of the city’s economic development committee, Mayor Ed Jacyno said while he understands the need to save money, this isn’t the way to do it. Under this plan, forest fire services would be provided from Haliburton. Mayor Jacyno said he isn’t confident this region would be well served from there because of its distance away.

— Stephen Uhler.

MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST, THE DAILY OBSERVER.

Read more here:- http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/2014/01/17/city-fights-for-fire-base.